Prepartions for the Olympics 2008

The whole of China celebrated the 1-year-countdown to the opening of the Olympic Games 2008 on 08-08-08. Preparations have been intensified as China nears the opening of the games. The work on the construction of the Olympic sports facilities, the training of policeman and also the ‘beautification’ of Beijing is well on the way. An attempt to make the city greener is being strongly asserted.

The operational schedule for the individual days during the games has already been decided and test match plans for the facilities have already been submitted. All in all, the progress of the preparations seems to be advanced every day a little bit more. In the following sections you can read which projects have already been realised and which are still not yet completed.

Construction of the Olympic sports facilities:

Altogether 37 stadiums and sports halls will be used during the 2008 Olympics, 12 of these are being built especially for the games. By the end of 2007 all building projects are expected to be completed on time. The Swimming Centre, the National Stadium, the racecourse in Hong Kong, the Olympic Centre in Qunhuangdao and the Sports Centre in Shenjang have already been completed. Not only is the speed of the construction impressive, but above all so is the architecture of the buildings. The National Stadium in Beijing carries the name the ‘Birds Nest’ and is widely regarded as an architectural masterpiece. It is expected that work on the stadium will be finished at the start of 2008. With the new natatorium called the ‘Water Cube’ and the sports hall ‘UFO’ Beijing gains two further architectural highlights. According to the BOCOG all construction work is progressing according to the set time frame and by the end of 2007 most of the work will have been completed.

The Rudder and Water Haven Centre, which is lies on the outskirts of Beijing, is already completed and was inaugurated by holding the youth rudder championships. Also, the shooting facility was opened at the end of July in a solemn ceremony. Approximately 60 ‘test matches’ have been organised to test the Olympic sports facilities for faults. It is expected that 100,000 people will visit these events; this also means that transport facilities will be submitted to a capacity test. One of the first tests was the friendly football match between Barcelona F.C. and the Chinese team Guoàn in the Fengtaoi Stadium. Furthermore, the ‘Women’s Challenge’ and an international hockey tournament were played in the new sports facilities.

The new riding track in Hong Kong will be tested in two dimensions. Besides the track the riders also want to experience the climatic conditions, because the hot weather could be a special challenge for the horses.

Development of the Transport System:

Not only the Olympic sports facilities have been built and renovated, but also the traffic routes into and around Beijing have been particularly adapted to cope with the huge volumes of visitors, which can be expected for the Olympics. The goal to organise a ‘green Olympiad’ is a daring statement considering the layer of smog that the city often lies under. To reach this millions of cars will be band from the streets and the underground system will be extensively developed. Jaques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee has already expressed strong doubts whether the smog problem can be solved. In the course of this concern considerations were made to displace perseverance matches from the inner town of Beijing. However, still nothing was decided and the International Olympic Committee for the Beijing administration and the BOCOG to solve the problem. It is probable that the nature of the solution will only be short term. The shut down of pollutant-rich manufacturing plants and the driving ban will reduce pollution over Beijing during the games. Whether a durable reorientation regarding environmental problems can take place remains unsure. The first step was lowering the bus prices in order to create the public transport attractive for as many people as possible. To be arranged attractively are also the stops of the new Olympic underground line. The Design is oriented around music. While the tunnels emblematise staves, the 4 coloured arranged stations embody the interval signals. Instead of creating a simple grey uniform style each stadium is designed in a special accent by the use of a colour. The green of the station Senlin Gongyuan symbolises hope, the red from Xiongmao Huandao stands for enthusiasm, the Olympic Centre in yellow is gloss to obtain and the stop of the Olympic Park is in blue to suggest extensiveness.

So that not only transport in the city, but also the global transport to Beijing is prepared for Olympics in China, the airport in Beijing is being developed. With a construction area of one million square metres the new terminal will become the third largest in the world. The building is almost finished and in 2008 tourists to Beijing will be a guaranteed a smooth operating airport. Another record size building built for the Olympics is the tunnel, which is to connect the main station of Beijing with the west station. Being 11.6 meters in diameters and 9.15 km in overall length it is the largest tunnel in China.

Behaviour Introductions for the habitants from Beijing:

Besides the structural measure of the city, the BOCOG tasked itself with showing off China’s best side. Therefore, a large-scale campaign was started. This is visible by the many new sport parks, which were established in the city. The population is to hold itself physically fit ‘we move us, therefore we are healthy. We are healthy, therefore we are merry. We go with the Olympic Movement’. To fulfil this task almost every larger block of flats now has an assortment of sports equipment such as trim-you-wheels etc. Not only the physical condition, but also the behaviour of the Chinese population is thought to have to be changed. Particularly the custom of public spitting the BOCOG is suspending a lot. With leaflets and information days they want to convince the population that it is unhygienic and that this manner is going to create a negative impression for foreigners about Chinese culture. Everyone who does not want to be convinced and who is caught must pay a high fee. In addition the guilty must remove the public annoyance with a cloth.Also, the inhabitants should not grumble loudly and respect the traffic rules more than they do at the moment.

On the 11th day of each month since February 2007 the ‘queue standing’ is celebrated. At this time everyone should practice arranging in proper rows. These take place wherever masses of people meet. 12000 volunteers helped to arrange more than one million people into correct lines to get onto the subway, the bus, the train etc. The city administration has established behaviour courses, ‘label schools’ and leaflets. Everyone in Beijing is expected to help show the city’s best side.

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